Sunday, November 21, 2010


I cannot certainly imagine what toastmasters would be like not having him around!
I immensely admire him because of three things; his humor, optimism, and charisma.

I am talking about the toastmaster who inspired Toto to sign-up as a toastmaster. I am talking about the toastmaster whom TM Kim identifies with. I am talking about the toastmaster who became the first Division D Governor, Competent Toastmaster, Competent Leader Mario Pao.

Who says studying accounting makes one suicidal? And who says that studying the law is as difficult as forgiving? Not for TM Mario. He is both a certified public accountant and a lawyer yet he remained grounded. His humility always exudes in the way he speaks and the way he deals with fellow toastmasters, may it be the young ones or the once young, the seasoned or the seasonal toastmasters.

Apart from his outstanding leadership as Division Governor, he is very famous for his gift of humor. If Barangay Toastmasters Club has DTM Greg Vallejera, Riverside Toastmasters Club has CTM Mario Pao. I call it a gift because his jokes though recycled the nth time, he still makes everyone giggle. And I am one of them! Whenever he attends the meeting, it’s always a pain in the jaw. That’s how fun and crazy when he is around!
When I was the vice president for education, he was with the club through thick and thin. I remember him texting to all members, “Lakat na kamo di kay daw mapatay na club ta!” I must say that his love for toastmasters is beyond question. He is also one of the few members who never refused to roles assigned to him. His reply would always be, “Ok ko!” When I requested him to give a brief history of Riverside Toastmasters Club during the anniversary last Saturday, he immediately answered, “Ok” with an additional note, “Praktis ta saot.”
Yes. One of his self-professed talents is dancing. Until now he still thinks they won in that dance contest at the Davao District Convention”. According to TM Jam, he could be your dance instructor for only twenty pesos per hour.

During meetings, a lot of us may consider table topics as the most challenging. Yet, TM Mario, every time he expounds a table topic, he always does it smoothly and comfortably. His words, always positive and full of wisdom, make his speech glimmer like gold. When someone praises him, he would always reply, “Rest assured the feeling is neutral”.

Many toastmasters have always confessed their admiration to TM Mario. Count me in! Maybe someday, a monument will stand, in honor of his contributions as a toastmaster. In his monument will be these words, a passionate leader, a gifted humorist, and a toastmaster icon. However, to me he is simply called “Super Mario!"

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